33 private colleges ordered to close down this year: Idris Jusoh (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: 33 private colleges in Malaysia have been closed down by the Higher Education Ministry this year for various reasons, according to Higher Education minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

Among the reasons for the closures include the failure to comply with requirements under Act 555 (Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996), insufficient lecturers, too few students, expired registration and colleges that are no longer operational.

"We have already closed 33 private colleges this year. The quality of education needs to be adhered to. Any colleges that do not comply with our requirement will be shut. We cannot jeopardise the quality of education," he told the media after the rating ceremony of the Malaysian Quality Education System (MyQuest) for private colleges, in Intercontinental Hotel today.

Private Higher Educational Institutions Act 1996 (Act 555) is an act that regulates private education institutions in Malaysia, the recent amendment, which was passed in November this year, allows the ministry to monitor and regulate the institutions.

"This year there are more colleges closed as Act 555 has already been enforced and we also have an online system for the colleges to key in their data and information. With this, colleges that cannot fulfil the requirements, I am sorry but we have to close them down," Idris said further.

From 2012 to 2016, a total of forty six colleges have been shut down by the ministry

Meanwhile, MyQuest 2016/2017 recorded a 27% improvement by private colleges in their education quality since the system was introduced in 2011. The evaluation system rates the colleges quality of services and best practises and is done bi-annually.

Below are the percentage of the ratings by MyQuest:

6 star - 15 colleges (7%)
5 star - 63 colleges (31%)
4 star - 61 colleges (29%)
3 star and below - 67 colleges (33%)

"Im happy for the education quality in private institutions in Malaysia has improved through the MyQuest rating system which is for private colleges. Through the implementation of Act 555 the ministry can supervise the colleges better. Prospective students can select which 'star college' they want to go to," Idris said.

He added that given MyQuest is an online rating system, from next year onwards it can be done annually instead of biannually.